Rocky coastline and sea, with a a lighthouse, St Ives, Cornwall

Dark Angels Notes 132

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Friday Note.



This week we are celebrating the life of Virginia Woolf who was born on 25th January 1882.

Recognised as “one of the most innovative writers of the 20th century”, Woolf is well known for her novels Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse, though she also wrote essays on topics such as women’s writing, art and literature, including a series of six articles on The London Scene for Good Housekeeping.

She set up and ran Hogarth Press with her husband Leonard Woolf. The pair turned a pastime for hand-printing books into a publishing house that was home to work from the likes of T.S. Eliot and Vita Sackville West.



“How can we combine the old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth? That is the question.”

Watch this animated extract, originally taken from Words Fail Me, a series of broadcasts by the BBC in 1937. It is thought to be the only surviving recording of Virginia Woolf.



In the above extract, Woolf talks about words being “the wildest, freest, most irresponsible, most unteachable of all things” because they live in the human mind.

Try to tame a few onto the page. Write whatever comes to mind in a short stint of free writing.



Neil Baker has just released “Out of Winter”, a little concertina booklet that collects 33 illustrated haiku that he made as part of a daily walking and writing practice during the pandemic. All of the creative work was done on the spot and in the moment while out and about. His brilliant mate Michael Gough turned them into a beautiful booklet.

“To quote superstar Japanese haiku powerhouse Madoka Mayuzumi, “Because haiku are short and cannot be explained, the unsaid parts between the lines reveal the most important part of yourself.” So, if you want to meet the most important part of me, this is the booklet to get.”

You can grab a copy here.


Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family.




Save the Date: Words Are Seeds, 19-23 June 2023

Five days of writing, rituals and nature connection at Bore Place over the summer solstice. We’re expecting a lively, stimulating and playful experience, with plenty of time for individual pondering, wondering and wandering – and writing. No commitment is needed yet, but we’d love to pencil you in. Register your interest by dropping Susanne a quick email.

Find out more here.


Hearts, Inspired, 16-21 June 2023

Join us for a 5-day writing retreat on Whidbey Island, in the US Pacific Northwest. We’ll explore writing, creativity and inspiration through guided writing, personal projects and time in nature.

Find out more here.


Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels




Photo by Andras Kerekes on Unsplash